Tag: tuition

Tuition Money Seized by Customs

Customs seizure of tuition money is a common occurrence in the weeks prior to the start of either semester of the school year. Like all customs currency seizures, the seizure typically happens because of a failure to file a currency report by people transporting money into the United States of amounts over $10,000.

Lots of foreign students come to the United States and pay their tuition in cash as most colleges won’t accept tuition payments by credit card. Likewise, many foreign exchange students and¬†children of immigrants get a lot of cash assistance from family overseas who understand¬†their duty to pay for their children’s education; it may be a lump $15,000 sum from a parent or grandparent, or a few hundred or thousand dollars from several different relatives or benefactors.

Customs can easily identify someone on student visa, who is relatively young, and is arriving from China, India or Korea; we previously wrote about how customs can “target” currency reporting enforcement based on just these types of criteria. This makes it very easy for them to target students who will then be required to give an accurate report of currency down to the dollar, and if they don’t to seize their cash. The only thing higher than the cost of education is the cost of not accurately reporting money over $10,000 to customs.

What to do when Customs seizes your tuition money?

Traveling with cash? Claim monetary instruments exceeding $10,000 USD!
Don’t let customs seize cash. Traveling with cash? Claim monetary instruments exceeding $10,000 USD!

Take the advice we have already given for responding to a customs money seizure by reading our popular article on the topic: Responding to a Customs Currency Seizure. Currency seizure cases are handled the same whether the money that was seized by customs was intended to be used to pay for college tuition or, for example, for travel expenses. As long as the use of the money is legitimate (and tuition is a legitimate use) and the source of the money is legitimate, with the right legal help you have a good chance of getting your seized tuition money back. If you want to know what a petition to get seized money back from customs looks like, read our article here.

Will I get the money in time to pay my tuition?

It really depends on a variety of circumstances, as we talked about in our popular article on the topic: How long does it take Customs to decide a petition for a currency/monetary instrument seizure? In every case, hiring the right attorney to handle your case can speed up the process, from getting the notice of seizure issued, to gathering evidence (obtaining supporting documents, preparing affidavits and giving customs everything they need without waiting for them to request additional documents), researching and drafting the legal basis for the obtaining a return of the seized currency in the petition, and ultimately, if successful, getting the money returned without delay, often by direct deposit. We work hard at Great Lakes Customs Law to get your seized currency returned back to you in a timely manner by doing the job right the first time.

How can I find out more or hire a law firm to help with my customs currency seizure?

If you have had cash seized by customs and are contemplating what to do next, please make use of the other information available on this website or call our office at (734) 855-4999 to speak to a customs lawyer, or e-mail us through our contact page. We are able to assist with cash seized by customs around the country, including Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, Orlando and many other places. Please read these other articles:

  1. Seizure of currency and monetary instruments by U.S. Customs
  2. Seizure for bulk cash smuggling into or out of the U.S.
  3. Structuring currency imports and exports
  4. Is it $10,000 per person?  Under what circumstances is filing a report with Customs for transporting more than $10,000 required?
  5. Criminal & civil penalties for failing to report monetary instrument transportation
  6. Is only cash currency subject to seizure by Customs?
  7. Responding to a Customs currency seizure
  8. How do I get my seized money back?
  9. Getting money seized by U.S. Customs back while staying overseas
  10. How long does it take Customs to decide a petition for a currency/monetary instrument seizure?

Holiday Weekend Customs Cash Seizures

Many customs cash seizures by U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) are bound to happen all over the country this weekend at airports and border crossings. The increased amount of travel for labor day weekend will be a big Customs Cash Seizurefactor, but most cash will be seized because as it is the start of the academic year. Foreign exchange students, graduate students, PhD candidates, visiting professors,  researchers, and other professionals employed or sponsored by universities will be arriving in the United States with their tuition money or money for living expenses, and if they fail to report it to customs, it will be seized before they ever get a chance to use it. Get the details: Tuition Money Seized by Customs.

It does not matter that the money is legitimate. It only matters that there is a failure to make an accurate report to customs about how much money is transported. This reporting process usually starts by properly filling out your customs declaration form on arrival. Failure to properly report more than $10,000 transported into or out the country will result in a customs cash seizure. As we explained in previous articles, customs knows how to target arriving passengers to find people who might have money (Read: Targeting Customs Seizure Enforcement). If you are reading this after you already had a customs cash seizure then this article will tell you what to expect: Responding to a Customs currency seizure.

You can get your money back, but it will take time and effort. If you file a petition for remission, customs will require proof of the source of the money and its intended use. Customs has stringent requirements for getting your money back. They have specific documentation requirements depending on the country the money came from. Although the process is difficult and time consuming, it is almost always worth trying to get your money back. There is no customs cash seizure case that is hopeless, even if the documentation is missing or unavailable! For the best chances of success, you should hire a customs lawyer with a track record of successfully getting seized currency back from customs.

We are that experienced customs lawyer. If you have had your tuition money seized by customs, call us at (734) 855-4999 or contact us HERE because Great Lakes Customs Law can help.

Read these other articles about customs cash seizures:

  1. Seizure of currency and monetary instruments by U.S. Customs
  2. Customs cash seizure for bulk cash smuggling into or out of the U.S.
  3. Customs cash seizure; Structuring currency imports and exports
  4. Is it $10,000 per person?  Under what circumstances is filing a report with Customs for transporting more than $10,000 required?
  5. Criminal & civil penalties for failing to report monetary instrument transportation
  6. Is only cash currency subject to seizure by Customs?
  7. Getting money seized by U.S. Customs back while staying overseas
  8. How long does it take Customs to decide a petition for a currency/monetary instrument seizure?
  9. Customs cash seizure; Tuition Money Seized by Customs